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Debt Consolidation Debt Management Financial Fitness Financial Planning

How To Save Money When Online Shopping

Online shopping has become a convenient and easy way to buy what you want when you want..  Crazy bargains, heavy discounts, fast delivery, and convenience are only some of the reasons why people are shopping online. With all these ‘crazy’ bargains we are seeing an influx of people overspending. Consumers are buying anything and everything. Now – this is not necessarily bad; but if you find yourself turning into an online shopaholic, it may be time to start thinking about how you can save money when online shopping.

Here are some of the ways to save money when online shopping

Be quick or have patience

Have you hopped on to an online retailer to see the entire page full of Sales? You quickly find a nice pair of shoes. They are reduced by 15%, oh and they only have one more in stock. Luckily it’s your size. You cannot miss out? Can you? You add the shoes to your cart and away we go.

Finding a bargain can well and truly save you money, but sometimes, you’re really just falling for digital psychology – yes this is a thing!  Rather than buying with your emotion, stop, take your time and assess whether you need the item or not. If you really do need them and they are cheaper than competitors then go ahead. If however, you wait, you may see a further discount online. This discount may come later on through an email notification so don’t forget to register for their email notifications and then wait.

Search for coupons and use them prudently

The majority of people now are aware of registering to receive the seller’s email promotions. In saying so there are still a variety of online coupon providers such as Groupon that can help you save that extra cash. Search online for online coupons and use them at your disposal. Sometimes you may even be able to combine multiple discount codes. Win-Win.

Find the right days

Most companies have conducted their research into when shoppers are most likely to purchase. It is on those days that they will offer brains to draw customers in. For example, research suggests that the best time to buy clothing online is a Monday. Shoppers may save anywhere up to 50% on pants. Using that to your own advantage can be helpful. Buying your stuff on the right day will help you save. All it takes is a little research and patience.

Showcase your loyalty

Register for loyalty reward programs if you are a frequent shopper of a particular site. Your reward points on discounts and gifts will accumulate as you purchase your products. However, avoid going overboard when purchasing products to accumulate the points. The last thing that you want to do is buy something only for the sake of accumulating points. Save them and use them when you really need to.

Utilise social media

For the quickest and easiest way to catch a bargain, make sure you follow your preferred online shopping sites on social media platforms. Press the like icon on their Facebook page, start following influencers on Instagram and get on board their Twitter page. This is the easiest and greatest way to find out when products are on special. There are always giveaways and discount codes that get are available online.

Avoid overpaying on shipping

Thousands of companies allow you to jump the shipping fee if you buy goods worth a certain amount. Rather than making single purchases, consider creating a list of stuff that you need and order then all at once. When shopping online, look for websites that offer free shipping and whatever you do stay away from express shipping – unless you really need to.

Try to outwit dynamic pricing

A smart way to save money when online shopping is to take advantage of dynamic pricing. Dynamic prices can be defined as a fluctuating price that is shown to consumers depending on various factors.  These factors can include location, spending habits, current demand, and browsing history.

For example, if you’re shopping for an airline ticket, you may notice the price will change. You may have paid $500 for your first flight but when you check back on a different browser or your friend’s phone, the price has increased or decreased. There are two ways in which you can outwit the dynamic pricing.

  • Clear browsing history and cookies. This will make you appear like a new client on the site
  • Sign out all your account and use incognito mode to browse anonymously

Final word on online shopping

Use these tips to save some cash on all online purchases you make.  That can be via discounts, cash-back sites, smart tactics, shopping vouchers, and coupons. Above all avoid using buy now pay later services such as Afterpay. These services can lead you to a pit of debt.

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Debt Consolidation Credit Card Consolidation Personal Loans

Saving Money On a Lower Income

There is a range of strategies you can employ to make saving money o. One of the major areas that can save you a lot in the long term is debt consolidation. There are also some other lifestyle choices you can make to improve your financial situation.

Many people think it is all too hard, but everything you do will help, even small changes can make a huge difference. We can all employ a range of measures that will prevent budget blowouts without sacrificing all the things you like doing.

If you are finding yourself on the roller coaster of no savings, bad debt management, poor (or no) budgeting and everything is a bit chaotic, Australian Lending Centre has some tips and tricks to get you out of bad debt employing activities such as debt consolidation, saving and feeling in control again.

First things first – Where Does Your Money Currently Go?

If you don’t yet have a budget, keep a financial diary for your pay period and track how you are spending your money. The Money Smart website offers a great money tracking app to make this easier. This will give you valuable insight into your habits and areas you can save.

  • What are you spending your money on?
  • How much is left over at the end of the pay period?
  • What money needs to go out on payments and bills?
  • Are there any areas of waste or unnecessary spending?
  • Are there areas where you are going backwards and getting into arrears?

Planning and Budgeting  – Where Will Your Money Go?

Once you have a record of what your current spending entails, get online to the Money Smart website and complete the budget tool. Be sure to include all your debts, payments, bills, and income. Mark payments and amounts in your calendar. Most bank online apps have the ability to schedule payments, so they come out when they are due, but if these are also in your calendar you won’t get any unexpected payments coming out. These regular payments can including things like:

  • Mortgage or rent
  • Car payments, car registration and insurance
  • Household/health insurance
  • Credit card payments
  • Loan repayments
  • Store card payments
  • Afterpay/ZipPay (remember that defaulting on these can effect your credit score)
  • Utilities such as gas and electricity (you may want to discuss bill smoothing with your provider – this is a regular payment over time rather than a massive and shocking bill each quarter)
  • Internet and phone

Bad Debts? Talk to the Credit Provider

The bottom line is that companies want to be paid. They are always receptive if you explain your situation, especially if you have, or are, experiencing financial hardship. You may be able to negotiate with them to reduce or put a hold on payments until you get back on top of things. Of course, you still have the pay the money back, but a hiatus on payments can help in the short term. Some credit providers will allow you to reduce the final figure if you can pay the debt outright. If they offer this, it may be time for debt consolidation. If you are too overwhelmed by the phone calls and letters, then talk to us about negotiating on your behalf.

Next Steps – Take Control With Debt Consolidation

When loans and credit cards get beyond what you can cope with in terms of interest and late payments, it might be time to call in help from the experts. Companies like Australian Lending Centre can offer a solution for a bad credit debt consolidation loan. This is where you negotiate with lenders for a reduced payout figure and then apply for a single loan that will cover all your bills in one payment with a lower interest than general credit cards and late payment fees. Having one simple debt consolidation loan payment to go out eat pay period is going to be a lot easier than trying to remember everything. The sooner you simplify your payments, the sooner you will be in an easier financial situation.

Money-Saving Tips

Turn off the TV

Are services like Netflix, Foxtel, Stan, Hayu and the iTunes store getting beyond ridiculous? Try cutting out all but the most popular one, to cut back. Turning off the TV will also help cut back on power and expose you to less spend-inducing ads. You might also have app subscriptions that you don’t need. Although these are small they can add up in a month.

Stop Hoarding and Start Selling

If you have closets full of unwanted clothes, try selling them online. A good clean out also helps you to see what your wearable wardrobe looks like so you can plan your clothes shopping to maximise your shopping budget. Also if you buy anything make sure it goes with the other items in your wardrobe. Take advantage of sales, why pay retail when most clothes will go on sale towards the middle of the season.

Look for those habits that add up

You can cut back on your habits, such as drinking alcohol during the week, smoking (probably goes without saying but your health and budget will thank you), buying coffees, can all save a surprising amount as well as having general health benefits. Limiting your drinking to the weekend can save hundreds a month, depending on your drink of choice. That bottle of wine after work at $15 a night can really add up over the week. Similarly, a $4 coffee each day is $20 a week. Make coffee at home in a keep cup and save money and the environment.

Stop using your credit card

By switching to using your debit card or cash for purchases, you will be more aware of your spending habits. It will also prevent the slide into bad credit debt.

Be frugal at the supermarket

Most of the time, buying in bulk or larger sizes are cheaper over time, so check on the prices for the larger sizes. Don’t shop with kids. Pester power is a thing and can increase your spend at the checkout. Never shop when you are hungry. Buy less meat, which is expensive, and opt for more meat-free alternatives, such as tofu, beans, and pulses.

Eat Smarter

With a busy life, planning meals can be a real chore, but while using services like Uber Eats seems like a good alternative, you are actually paying $5 on top of takeaway prices and it really can add up at the end of the pay period. By shopping in bulk, cooking healthy meals and taking the leftovers to work for lunch, you can save quite a lot each day.

Are You Missing Out On Government Payments You Are Entitled To?

Lastly, make sure you check all your entitlements with regards to government payments. As a low-income earner, you may be eligible for some form of financial support if you aren’t already receiving a government benefit. When every dollar counts it’s worthwhile claiming all you can. To check on payments and entitlements, check out the Department of Human Services. Even a small additional payment may ease your financial burden. Living on a low income is hard, but these payments are designed to help.

Small Changes with Big Returns

Once you have a clearer picture about where your money goes, you make changes to your lifestyle and start on the path to greater financial control, the happier, healthier and less stressed overall you will be.If you need help with debt consolidation, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Note: This information is general, and doesn’t take into account your specific personal and financial circumstances.

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Personal Loans

Practical Money Saving Tips

If despite having a good budget, you are still spending more than you should, then it’s high time you must follow these practical money saving tips.

There are three steps involved in saving money

First, know how much you have

  • If you’re not a fan of a balance sheet, you can start doing this simple work today. Create a list of your assets and liabilities to know where you are financially. You might be earning a few thousand dollars, but your debt is over the edge. Or, you don’t have a decent income but you have zero debts. The exact amount of your asset versus your liability will help you identify serious problems with your finances and the areas that you can change.
  • One of the most practical money saving tips is to get a free copy of your credit report from a major credit bureau. It is a summary of your current and past financial obligations. You can also check the additional fees and penalties, and the accounts which should not be there anymore. By looking at your credit report, you will understand which debts are pulling your credit score down and which ones must be paid off as soon as possible. You can dispute negative entries which are inaccurate directly with the reporting agencies or your credit provider.
  • Collect all your bills and receipts. categorize them according to use—if they’re for home expenses, transportation, work-related, school,-related and so on, put a label on each file. That way, it will be easy for you to check which bills have been paid and those which were not.

Second, pay off your current liabilities

It’s not easy to pay your debts especially if you have too much of them. IN fact, debt repayment is a long journey and a lot of people have given up and settled for high interests and poor credit rating because they lost the motivation to reach their financial goals. Here are ways to pay off debts when you have limited resources:

  • Organise your debt by balance, minimum payment, interest rate and due dates. Check the billing statements or ask your lender for details.
  • Use the “debt avalanche” method to save money on interests. It is the method that pays the debts with the highest interests first and the lowest interest rate, last. By paying off the debt with higher interest, you stop the interest from accruing on your accounts.

An Example

You have a credit card debt of $10,000 with an interest rate of 20%. Each month, while you pay off your debt, a certain portion of that payment will go toward the interest.  If you pay off that debt first, you will be able to save $2000 in a year. You can consolidate your loan to pay your credit card debts or you can make extra payments each month to rip through the interest faster by making more payments toward the principal.

  • If you have limited income but you want to eliminate debts one by one, you can use the debt snowball method. Start paying the accounts with the lowest balance and work your way up to the ones with the highest balance. You may not save a lot of money in this process and it may not be the most practical approach, but it would motivate you to keep going, knowing that you are making progress. For example, you have an outstanding credit card debt of $10,000 at 20% APR, a $5000 short term loan and small consumer debts worth $500 from Store A, $300 from Store B and $150 from Store C, all at 5% interest. If you pay off your consumer debts amounting to $950, you will only save $47.50 in interest. But, it will be a good emotional experience that will motivate you to kick your hefty debts to the curb.

Third, find the money to save

Build your wealth on a daily basis. Here are simple acts of savings that could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in a year:

  1. Keep your loose change
  2. Drink water instead of juice or soda
  3. Bring your own homemade or instant coffee at work
  4. Pack your own lunch and snacks at work
  5. Remodel your clothes. You don’t have to be an expert tailor or dressmaker to do this. Scissors and a little bit of creativity can do the trick.
  6. automate payments to avoid paying late fees on credit cards, utility bills and the like
  7. Declutter your home and office. You might be surprised to find recyclable items there.
  8. Choose thrift stores over high fashion boutiques. You can find designer clothes and good quality materials which were slightly used in there.
  9. Use your time to earn money. You don’t have to be a full-time worker to do this. Small and odd jobs may do, as long as it will give you extra money to save. You can make money out of your passion or hobbies.
  10. Avoid window shopping. It’s too tempting to resist.

Now you are aware of practical money saving tips, you will be able to take greater control of your finances. When you get started on saving, you will find it exciting and a little bit frustrating at the same time. There are times that you would be tempted to use your credit cards once again. So, if you’re finding it difficult to balance your debts and income—you can get a little help from a debt consolidation company to help you pay off all your debts and start all over again with only one debt to worry about. It will help you focus on saving and repayments, and hopefully on building your wealth as well.

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Bad Credit Loans News

Save Money by Shopping Like an Investor

When you do your groceries, it is best to shop like an investor. Apply those investing skills whenever you shop and you’ll be surprised with the amount of savings you are going to earn.

As you go to a supermarket, how do you choose a product? Most shoppers rely on advertisements being fed by the media. A product endorsed by celebrities often entices customers to buy the item without doing their own research.  An investor does a meticulous research before buying stocks. Shoppers must possess the same attitude whenever they shop or do their groceries. Most shoppers do not realize that they spend on grocery items that they do not need. Without a list, shoppers tend to just keep on adding items in their carts. When they get home, they often wonder “why do I have three boxes of cereal?” Marketing tactics like items on sale or discounted items which comes with freebies often attract shoppers even if they don’t really need it. It is not too late to put an end to this situation.

Shop Like an Investor

Four investor tricks to help you generate big savings:

  1. Research – Perform your own research, however, you need to exert extra effort just like what an investor does. Plan your meals, and list down the items that you need. This way, you can avoid impulse buying. Admit it or not, without a list, you can easily go over your budget.
  2. Buy in bulk – It is cheaper when you buy in bulk. Or you can go for wholesale price which is lower compared from retail price.
  3. Compare prices – Most shoppers do not have the time to shop around for cheap items. If you have time to look around or visit other supermarkets you can compare prices.
  4. Consider other brands – Items with a high price tag is not an indication that it comes with great quality. It is not a bad thing to shift from one brand to another.

These are simple yet effective investor tips that will help you cut down your bills. These days, there are many other brands that aren’t too expensive and it’s worth giving a try. Always make a list and eat before you shop.  It is best to shop in the morning to ensure the freshness of meat, fruits and veggies. If you see items on sale, check the expiry date and condition of the product. Saving extra money is not so hard if you choose to become a smart shopper.

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Home Loans

Fast Track Your Mortgage Repayment

Did you recently check the present status of your home loan and the progress you are making? If not, it is about time you did that. Why? Tracking your mortgage could genuinely help you to save a great amount of money while, at the same time, you can make your mortgage repayment increasingly faster.

This way, the thought of financial freedom can become a reality sooner than you think. Consider the following tips.

Fast Track Your Mortgage Repayment

  • Make smaller payments on a regular basis

One simple way of fast tracking your mortgage repayment is by dividing your loan into smaller amounts of money that you pay more often, on a regular basis. While this will help you to pay off your loan faster, it will also contribute to diminishing the lifespan of the loan, as well as the amount of interest you pay.

Let’s say that you make your mortgage repayment once per month. Instead, you should think of making fortnightly repayments. If you pay $2400 per month, divide this sum in half and, instead, pay $1200 fortnightly. This means that instead of paying $31,200 per year, you will only pay $28,800.

  • Increase the sum you typically pay

Believe it or not, by adding as little as an extra $10 to the amount you usually pay on a regular basis as mortgage repayment, you can genuinely reduce the lifespan of your loan. A good idea would be directing your tax returns, bonuses and gifts into your mortgage. It takes discipline and willpower but it is a possibility you should take advantage of.

  • Don’t diminish mortgage repayments when interest rate drops

In the light situation in which the interest rate is smaller than normal, and, as a result, your mortgage repayments are diminished, don’t fall into the trap of paying less. If you continue paying the same sum of money, you will manage to make considerable progress with your loan, decreasing the amount of interest.

  • Opt for an offset account

If it’s a viable possibility, consider opting for an offset account. A mortgage offset account is linked to your loan. The monthly interest is calculated by subtracting from your loan the sum that you have in your offset account. You can consider directing your savings into this account. The main advantage of an offset account is that it will save interest while you can benefit from accessing your savings account as well.

  • Consider a better deal

And last, but not least, your mortgage should meet your individual requirements and financial situation. If you feel overwhelmed by your mortgage repayments, consider talking to your broker about changing your loan. You can talk about making additional repayments, or look into refinancing options.

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Bad Credit Loans Debt Management Financial Planning News

How to Adhere to your New Year Resolution to Save Money

Everybody makes New Year resolutions, but most of us fail to stick to them. With every start of a new year, we want to change our lives for the best, but because of lack of proper planning and genuine determination, we only follow the resolutions for a couple of weeks, and afterwards, we completely forget about them. But this year, it doesn’t have to be the same, does it?

You see, the trick to sticking to your New Year resolution is to come up with effective ways to follow them, even after the January bustle ends. Financial goals are, probably, the most popular ones. Thus, keep yourself motivated throughout the year by taking into account the following tips.

Sticking to your New Year Resolution

Set realistic goals

The first thing about resolutions is that we tend to set outrageous, slightly unrealistic objectives, which discourage us from even thinking about them. Thus, the key to accomplishing your goals is making sure they’re achievable and realistic. Set specific, measurable money targets.

Make a budget

Establishing a budget is the next step you need to take so that you manage to stick to your New Year Resolution of saving money. Budgeting will allow you to know how much you’re spending, and whether you’re spending more than you’re bringing in. When designing your budget, make sure to include household necessities such as the monthly rent, bills, commute, food and so on, as well as leisure activities such as shopping, eating out, travelling costs, and others.

Next, establish how much money you earn monthly. If you have fixed wages, it will be easier for you to settle that, if not, just set an approximate sum based on your salary from the last couple of months.

Keep track of your spending

As you track down your spending, you will realize where your money goes, something that perhaps missed your attention in the past. Keeping track of your spending will only show you that saving up small amounts of money can make a world of difference in the long run. Ideally, we recommend you consider to track your spending for at least one month, to observe your spending habits, and where a great deal of your money goes to. You will be surprised.

Replace habits, but don’t aim at eliminating them completely

As you realize that your habits make you spend a lot of money, you need to comprehend that you ought to replace them, as eliminating them won’t suffice. For instance, if a large amount of cash goes to eating lunch out, you need to start cooking your own meals. Buy groceries and plan your meals ahead, so that you don’t feel tempted to eat out. Just educate yourself and you’ll be successful in sticking to your New Year resolution to save money.

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Debt Management Financial Fitness Financial Planning

Cut Costs and Grow Your Savings

The world might be slowly coming out of a recession, however, many people are still struggling to make ends meet. This could be largely due to a lot of people being made redundant, and still looking for work or only working part-time due to fewer job opportunities.

If you fall into this or a similar category, and you find that you are struggling to make your repayments, read on for some helpful hints on cutting household costs.

Cut Costs – Build Savings

Phone Bills

An increasingly popular way to make phone calls nowadays is by using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). It’s a way of making and receiving calls over the Internet and it can work out to be much cheaper than using a traditional Telco for your phone. For more information, take a look at Skype.

Bank fees

Making a phone call to your bank every six months to see if they can do anything to help you cut your bank fees is very worthwhile. Use the call as an opportunity to check that your money is in an account that generates the highest interest possible. Also check to see if your bank has a fee-free option.

Energy

We have heard its good for the environment, but don’t forget that by turning off electrical goods at the power point, or even your gas system when going on holidays, are good ways to cut down on utility bills. Also, look into what time is best to do a load of washing, or turn on the dishwasher, as it is on-peak and off-peak times throughout the day – this means the electricity to run your electric goods are charged at different rates depending on what time of day it is.

Food

Spend more time eating at home, rather than going out for meals, and take your lunch to work instead of purchasing food and coffee on a regular basis.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation or ‘consolidation loans’ are perfect for those who need credit card consolidation, personal loan consolidation and even home loan consolidation, and they can drastically reduce the amount of interest you pay to service your debt.

Australian Lending Centre can offer you a range of debt consolidation options so that you can combine all your monthly outgoings into one lower affordable monthly payment.